Anonymous said: I've always been a firm supporter of the LGBT community, because all the verses in the Bible about the issue seem to refer to prostitution/gang rape. However I don't really understand the justification of Matthew 19. it does sound to me that a marriage should be a man and a woman because God created man and women separately and therefore they need to be one to complete the image of God? I don't know what I believe anymore.
(v. 4-6) 4 “Have you not read,” He replied, “that He who made them ‘made them’ from the beginning ‘male and female, 5 and said, For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two shall be one’? 6 Thus they are no longer two, but ‘one’! What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Weymouth)
First let’s look at this from a logical standpoint. Was Jesus implying that his own lineage and the patriarchs of his faith were wrong for having more than one wife when he said ‘wife’ and not ‘wives’? I’m certain Jesus and the Jewish people of his time would have understood that those types of marriage were the norm then but that society had evolved to a new normal. Likewise, we have evolved to a new normal, not only regarding the genders of the couple, but also in how we regard spouses or partners; women are no longer property and marriages are no longer property transactions. But that’s not a bad thing either. We’ve simply evolved to a new understanding; that is what humans are supposed to do rather than blindly holding onto traditions that do not in any way help society to progress.
Next, let’s consider the context. Was Jesus asked what type of marriage is appropriate? No, he was asked by the Pharisees about divorce. Jesus wasn’t teaching or responding to a question about whom we may marry, but rather when we can divorce. Not to mention, Jesus’ teachings about divorce aren’t upheld literally; people attribute Jesus’ teachings about divorce to its cultural and historical context while at the same time taking verses 4-6 out of context. But realize that these scriptures are taken out of context when read by themselves. The chapter starts at verse 1 for a reason.
Lastly, I think we should leave Creation and the beginning of humanity as an open question. There are two contradictory creation narratives in Genesis. It’s obvious that they were adapted from Mesopotamian mythology as an attempt to explain, within Jewish tradition, what no person was around to see. I don’t think God literally started humanity with only 2 people, but even our best hypothesis about the beginning of humanity and creation will never be complete or confirmed.
Anonymous said: I go to a baptist church. Would your stance on being gay differ because of your denomination? How do you approach the scripture on "song follow your heart because it's deceiving?" I'm trying to follow God and see if it's possible for me to be gay and follow Him completely.
Our stance will always be the same: being gay is another way in which the Creator has made us unique and beautiful.
I think you meant 'not following your heart' because it’s deceiving. Perhaps you’re thinking of scriptures like Proverbs 3:5— trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
Unfortunately, this has become a popular stock phrase among conservative Christians. They use it for everything from the science about human sexuality to the science about climate change. In its current use it has come to mean 'trust your pastor's or denomination's interpretation of the Bible without question.'
Would you believe some things don’t have the same meaning today as they did then? That includes the Hebrew word leb, translated heart. Unlike in English where we assume heart to exclusively mean your feelings, here it means your innermost self: your mind, will, heart and understanding.
A better way to interpret Proverbs 3:5 is to trust God with your whole innermost self and don’t assume you have all the answers. If we do not assume we have all the answers, we should be more willing to question what we’ve been taught to believe, to examine an issue from all perspectives (religious, scientific, emotional, testimonial), and rely on the Holy Spirit to guide us to the truth.
More and more Christians are finally listening to the Holy Spirit and recognizing that God blesses people of all orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions. We have looked at the science. We have listened to the testimonies, and most importantly we have considered the perspective of love. Love does not harm its neighbor, and religious condemnation of the LGBT community has done an awful amount of harm. Telling people not to love has done an awful amount of harm. It is not of God.
To love and be loved is the most basic human desire. So I ask you, is there so much love in the world that God would discriminate against one kind?
PS, Baptist is not synonymous with anti-LGBT. There are close-minded Baptists like the Southern Baptist Convention, but there are also welcoming and affirming Baptists.
Anonymous said: I was baptized Christian just yesterday. But I've kind of had a heavy conscience because Im bisexual. Today I opened up my Bible and read clear as day it calls homosexuality a sexual immorality. I just dont know what to do :/
Clear as day? The word ‘homosexual’ wasn’t coined until the 19th century. Some translations (for example the New Living Translation) contain doctrinal bias, you know. We recommend the New Revised Standard Version. The Weymouth New Testament is also a great translation.
When one reads the Bible, one must remember that its authors had limited understanding compared to what we know now. One must also remember that they were just as imperfect as we are. The Bible was inspired by God but it is still a human work.
Anonymous said: I'm Christian and too scared to come out. I've told a few of my friends and have already gotten a lot of negative feedback, now I'm worried about how everyone else will react, especially my parents. Even though I know they support the LGBT community I'm still worried about what they will think of their daughter being lesbian. Any advice ?
The good thing about coming out is you find out who is really your friend. It’s inevitable you’ll get some negative feedback, but more and more people are enlightened these days because they likely already know someone who is LGBT+.
If your parents are supportive, then you should come out sooner rather than later. Why wait any longer than you have to? Do ite when you’re ready, but know that by coming out sooner, you spare yourself a lot of pain. If you’re parents are queer-friendly, they should support you even more because you’re their child. And having queer-friendly parents is a privilege some don’t have. Give thanks. —EM
Using the Bible as a handbook on gender identity makes as much sense as using it as a handbook on astronomy. Just as those who wrote the Biblical texts had no concept of the science that would prove the earth actually revolves around the sun, they had no concept of gender identity.
So like Desmond Tutu says, there are things in the Bible that we shouldn’t accept. Sometimes people get things wrong. That doesn’t mean that God is wrong, just that people can be wrong in discerning God’s will. One way I discern God’s will is by seeing if someone’s words or actions help or harm people; good tree bears good fruit.
We still have a long way to go when it comes to religious inclusion. The best thing you can do is find a church that is welcoming and affirming. No church is perfect, but welcoming and affirming churches promise to walk in love and do their best to understand you and celebrate you. -EM
Anonymous said: Seriously so grateful I stumbled onto this blog. I've struggled with my sexuality for a such a long time and I wish I could have seen this blog earlier. God works through people and I do believe He is working through you! Have a blessed night.
Anonymous said: Do gay Christians who practice homosexuality go to hell?
"How does one practice homosexuality?" is a better question. And as I discussed earlier, not all Christians believe in a place of eternal damnation. But on the question of whether queer folks will make it in, I like to quote the Most Rev. Desmond Tutu: